Potentially the biggest medical breakthrough since penicillin

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“Immunotherapy is the biggest breakthrough in medicine in our generation”: Associate Professor Alex Menzies from Melanoma Institute Australia.

If there is reason to have faith in the scientists, immunologists, virologists and oncologists racing to develop a vaccine for coronavirus, it is the stunning progress they are having in reducing deaths from what is called “Australia’s cancer”.

A decade ago, a diagnosis of advanced or stage four melanoma was effectively a death sentence within six to nine months.

But a leading medical oncologist, Associate Professor Alex Menzies from Melanoma Institute Australia, believes immunotherapy treatments – using the body’s immune system to attack the cancer cells – mean 50 per cent of these patients are surviving long enough to be considered cured.

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